Not everyone is lucky enough to have a ‘Super Gran’ in their lives, and so it is heart-warming to know that there is such thing as SuperGrans and that they are as local as the Riverside (Taha Awa) Community Centre in Mt Wellington.
Part of the Good Seed Trust, a national body of volunteers, SuperGrans are helping to build stronger communities in Auckland.
The concept arose after someone noticed that food parcels which required cooking were being left because people didn’t know what to do with them.
Volunteers stepped up to teach simple cooking skills, and now SuperGran programmes across the country provide a range of activities including budgeting, gardening, and home management.
There is currently a team of nine SuperGran volunteers based at the Riverside Community Centre who help run cooking and nutrition workshops.
“As well as providing the skills workshops, we also strive to integrate ideas and invite discussion on how to help families flourish. For example, fun and free ideas for spending time as a family, budgeting sources, the whole family are included as much as possible,” explains Raewyn Paapu, local SuperGrans Programme Manager.
Most recently, Riverside hosted SuperGrans Christmas workshops which focused on how to enjoy Christmas without breaking the bank, including preparing Christmas food, making your own presents and activities that help make the season a special time together as a family.
During winter, the group ran four workshops educating locals on preparing winter meals using slow cookers and integrated ideas to make families 'money wise'.
When asked what difference coming to the workshops had made to their household one of the participants replied:
“I plan my meals for the week, I spend less, my children are eating new healthy meals and I am more confident in the kitchen."
The Riverside Community Centre is proudly supported by Maungakiekie-Tāmaki Local Board which enables groups like SuperGrans reach the local communities. Good Seeds SuperGrans work is supported by the Wright Family Foundation in Mangere and the Lottery Foundation.